Here is some more detail from the Nelson Mail about the activity of ZK-IDE.
Forwarded by Alex
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
No, that dangling ring is not a dreamcatcher, but the information it's gathering may make a mining executive's dreams come true.
The 26-metre diameter ring is called a VTEM, which stands for Versatile Time Domain Electromagnetic system. It is being used to survey for minerals and has been spotted over Motueka for the past few days.
Helicopter pilot Chris Green said he had been hired by Geotech, a Canadian aerial survey company, to fly the ring along about 600 kilometres of specified flight lines above Mt Campbell and the Graham Valley.
He didn't know who commissioned the work but according to NZ Petroleum and Minerals maps, a two-year exploration permit for the areas around the survey sites is held by NZA Commodities Pty Ltd, a branch of an Australian company.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which oversees NZ Petroleum and Minerals, said aerial surveys were allowed under an exploration permit, which also allowed "low-impact activities" such as "geological mapping and sampling (by hand or low-impact mechanical methods) as well as exploration drilling and larger (bulk) samples".
The permits lists a variety of target minerals, including copper, gold, rare earths, silver and titanium. It says the exploration plans include the aerial survey, geochemical sampling and identifying areas for subsequent exploration.
Green said 600km was a small job but VTEM systems were "not really designed for steep country like this". Having to keep the half-tonne ring about 30 metres above the ground and within about 15m of the prescribed flight lines made the flying challenging, he said.
Wind made the job harder and could also result in signal "noise", so that although the job was supposed to be finished yesterday, he estimated he still had a full day's work ahead of him.
The contract pilot has done similar work in Papua New Guinea.
The mineral survey follows a report from a business think-tank, the New Zealand Initiative, recommending mineral extraction as a way forward for rural New Zealand.
Local Government New Zealand is working on proposals for mining royalties to be shared with local councils where mining is located.
- The Nelson Mail